Coping with a Bad Day

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No matter who you are or how stable you consider your mental health to be, the occasional bad day is inevitable. Sometimes it’s predictable- a bad night’s sleep, hormonal rage, PMS, or some shitty news. Or, if you’re having a really shitty day, a combination of all four.

However, not every spell of depression has a clear and concise motive for appearing. Sometimes, it really is random, and all the self-nitpicking in the world isn’t going to make you feel better. All you can really do is accept how you are feeling, try to find some peace within yourself, and cut yourself slack for as long as you need. It’s not really possible to cure a bad day, but there are certainly coping mechanisms you can apply to make your life a little bit easier. First and foremost, you need to separate your self-care routine into the three areas of wellness: Physical, Mental, and Social.

As much as I love to hide away from the world and isolate myself when I’m feeling depressed, the only thing that’s going to lead to is an argument with myself. It’s difficult, if not nearly impossible, to make yourself feel better without a second perspective or intervention. Trying to battle with my own thoughts will only confuse me more, as depression has a tendency to manipulate your mind. When I find myself feeling lost and upset, the only thing that really helps me is to pick up the phone and call someone who I know loves me unconditionally. Even if you’re not ready to talk about the root of the problem, it’s still extremely helpful to hear someone’s voice on the other end and maybe even have a good laugh to take my mind off things. My mother is another person I find crucial in these situations- in some regards, she knows me better than I know myself. Just having somebody in the loop is one of the most important things you can do in taking care of yourself.

Physical activity is another essential to distracting your mind when you’re feeling down. This doesn’t per say mean you need to run a marathon or spend hours at the gym- even just a short walk outside can significantly raise your spirits and help your brain release positive endorphins. I personally enjoy pampering myself with things that make me feel productive and good about myself when I feel dejected, such as doing my makeup or taking a long, hot shower. One of the worst things you can do for yourself when you’re depressed is nothing at all, because you’re letting your unstimulated brain wander into the depths of self-blame and paranoia. No matter how unimportant the task may seem, give your hands something to do, even if it’s just knitting a coaster or doodling. Doing so will give you a small sense of achievement at the least, and hopefully give you even more ambition to take the next step into something bigger.

One of the most trifling parts of feeling depressed is having to deal with the giant, controlling web of thoughts that plagues your common sense. I find it really difficult to try to give advice on this aspect over the internet, because it’s so hard to change somebody’s mind when they are truly dejected and feel absolutely shitty about themselves. No amount of telling somebody that everything will be okay will actually make them believe that it will be, as frustrating as that is. What I advise for anyone struggling emotionally with their feelings is to try writing down exactly what you’re feeling, and validate yourself for feeling that way. It’s useless and damaging to blame yourself for your emotions, because that won’t change the fact that you’re feeling them. All you can really do is accept yourself, try your best to love yourself, and give yourself a damn break. It’s selfish to assume that your life will be happy all the time, isn’t it?

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